A New Student’s Guide to Applying for Credit Admission

NOTE: See important additional information of interest if you are a:

NOVA has an open door admission policy. This means that any high school graduate or person 18 years of age or older with the ability to benefit can take advantage of the many academic opportunities we offer. In addition, some high school and home schooled students under age 18 can earn college credit through NOVA with appropriate approvals. See "Additional Admission Information for New Students -- Special Populations" for details.

Step 1             Apply for Admission and Financial Aid

  • If you are attending NOVA for the first time or if it has been three years or more since your last class at the College, you must submit an Application for Admission. Apply online at — just click on the box that says “Apply Online.” You can also file the application included in this booklet or pick up an application at any of our six campus locations.
  • If you think you qualify for in-state tuition rates, you must also complete the in-state tuition section of the application form before enrolling in and paying for your classes. You can apply online at or submit your application to any NOVA campus.
  • If you would like to pay your tuition in installments, you must enroll in the FACTS program before your tuition due date. For a non-refundable fee ($35, $40 or $45 depending on the number of payments selected), FACTS let you pay your tuition in monthly, interest-free payments. The earlier you enroll in the program, the lower your monthly payment will be. For more information or to enroll online, go to
  • If you apply online, your application typically will be processed within 24 to 48 hours. If you apply in person, processing of your application may take slightly longer. Once it is processed, you are automatically admitted to NOVA and can begin registering for classes.
  • General admission does not guarantee admission to all majors or programs. Admission to a specific program may be competitive or require minimum qualifications. In some instances, certain courses may be open only to students majoring in that program. You also may be asked to enroll in remedial courses to ensure you are academically prepared for college-level work.

Restricted Programs: Allied Health • Nursing • Veterinary Technology
If you plan to apply to NOVA’s Allied Health, Nursing, or Veterinary Technology programs, you must meet the special admission requirements outlined in the “Instructional Programs” section of the NOVA Catalog. Because of limited laboratory, classroom and/or clinical space, certain programs can only accept a limited number of students. These programs have specific admission, program continuation and program completion criteria. For details, go to or consult the print or online version of NOVA’s Catalog (See Step 2 below).

Step 2             Consult Your NOVA Catalog
The NOVA Catalog describes the College’s degree and certificate programs, provides detailed course descriptions and outlines official college policies. Each new student who submits an application is mailed a free CD of the Catalog as part of the College’s welcome packet. You can also pick up a printed copy at any campus Student Services Center, or access the Catalog online at

Step 3             Take Placement Tests
NOVA has an open admissions policy, so SAT scores and other entrance examinations are not needed to attend the College. However, you are required to take basic skills assessment and placement tests in writing, English and math to help you select courses appropriate to your educational goals and background. Your scores on the placement tests help you and your academic advisor determine whether, at the time of registration, you have the skills necessary to succeed in specific College classes. These are not tests for admission, but an important way to help you choose the right classes to begin your college studies successfully.

In order to enroll in most courses, students are required to achieve a satisfactory score on the College English placement test. Regardless of course selection, all students are required to take the English placement test before registering for their 16th credit.  Placement tests are free and offered at the Testing Center at each campus. See the Directory of Services for the campus location and phone number. You will need to bring a photo ID card and your NovaConnect Student ID #. Allow approximately two hours for each test.

For details, consult your NOVA Catalog or go to If you have questions about whether or not you need to take a placement test, contact the Counseling Office on the campus you’ll be attending.

Step 4             See a Counselor
If you are attending NOVA for the first time, we strongly encourage you to meet with an academic advisor (at MEC) or counselor before choosing your classes. Walk-in advising is available at each campus. Meet with a counselor as soon as possible to avoid waiting during peak enrollment periods. By appointment, students with disabilities can meet with the counselor for Disability Services. Financial Aid and Veterans’ advisors are also available. See the Directory of Services for phone numbers.

First-time students are encouraged to enroll in SDV 100 or a Student Development (SDV) elective during their first semester. You may check for open classes on the Web at

Step 5             Enroll for Classes (beginning March 27)
To enroll for classes, use NovaConnect on the Web at or the NovaConnect telephone enrollment system at 703-323-3770 or 703-330-3770 (Prince William County). Mailed or faxed schedule planning worksheets cannot be processed.

HELPFUL HINT: Be sure to click the “class note” symbol at the end of the line in each course listing in NovaConnect to find out all the important course details.

Step 6             Pay Your Tuition

See "Tuition, Payment & Refund Information" for a step-by-step guide to paying your tuition and fees.

If you enrolled in the FACTS Deferred Tuition Payment Plan, see the FACTS Web site for the payment schedule

If you enroll for classes by May 3, payment for all classes is due May 4 by 5:00 p.m. In most cases, classes not paid for will be dropped after that date. However, it is your responsibility to drop any classes you decide not to attend.  Beginning May 4, the tuition for any classes you enroll in must be paid before the end of the next business day, or those classes may be dropped!

Please note that you are financially responsible for all classes for which you register. If you decide to drop a class, you must cancel it through NovaConnect or notify a campus Student Services Center. If you fail to do so, you will be charged for that class.

  • Financial Aid: If your anticipated financial aid award is enough to cover your entire tuition, your classes will be held until it arrives. You can view your anticipated aid on NovaConnect under Self Service > Campus Finances > Account Inquiry or Make A Payment.

  • If your award is not enough to cover your entire balance by the deadline, you risk losing classes unless you:

  • pay the balance by the deadline, or

  • enroll in the FACTS tuition payment plan prior to the tuition due date, or

  • apply for a student loan to cover the additional costs, if you are eligible.

Step 7             Check Your Enrollment Schedule
You can print a copy of your enrollment schedule using the NovaConnect Web site at You also can check your classes and payment status by calling telephone enrollment (see Step 5). Be sure to check for errors and verify that you have enrolled for the courses that you wanted. If there are any errors, contact a campus Student Services Center immediately. IMPORTANT: Be sure to print a copy of your enrollment schedule every time you make changes.

Step 8             Buy Your Books
Print your schedule of classes and take it to the campus bookstore where the course is taught, or buy your books online at If you have received a financial aid award, you may use it to purchase books ten days before the first day of the session through the last day to drop with a refund.


Step 9              Buy Your Parking Permit

Buy online beginning March 27, 2007, at Your permit will be mailed to you.  You can print a temporary seven-day pass from the website to use immediately.

Parking Offices accept only cash or checks for permits until the first day of classes.  Once classes begin, Parking Offices will also accept credit cards.

Permits are required for all vehicles parked in all lots except at parking meters and hourly pay lots. Student permits are valid only in “B” lots. Parking enforcement on “B” lots will resume for the summer session at 6 a.m. on June 4, 2007.

The charge for a parking permit is $55 per term. A current semester parking permit is required for all semesters/sessions of enrollment.

To use the parking garages at the Annandale and Medical Education campuses without any additional charge, you must have a NOVACARD ID as well as a valid parking permit. Hourly pay parking is also available in the garages if you do not have a current permit and ID card.

Information about the College Parking Program is contained in the Parking Brochure on the Parking website

Step 10              Get Your Student Identification Card (NOVACARD)
You can obtain your NOVACARD a minimum of 24 hours after you enroll for classes. Your first NOVACARD is free. It serves as your library card and, with the addition of cash at a NOVACARD machine, it can be used for copying and printing on campus. The NOVACARD is also required for valid permit holders who wish to use the Annandale or Medical Education campus garages. For more information, go to

Step 11              Activate Your Free Student E-mail Account
Your NOVA e-mail account will be an important communication tool for you as a student. To protect your privacy, our faculty may only use your official NOVA e-mail address. They may e-mail your class assignments and other important information. You will often be asked to return your work by e-mail. Other administrative offices at the College will use electronic mail to send you course updates and timely notices.

You can forward your e-mails to another account if you choose.  For instructions on using your account go to



Northern Virginia Community College 2005
This page was last updated on March 5, 2007 2:39 PM